Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Keeping up with your peers, securely

21.07.2008
Mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) applications allow a team or group to create new levels of ad hoc co-operation and collaboration around a specific, real-time goal. But developing compelling and secure applications is a challenge. Now a platform developed by European researchers rises to that challenge.

Many business sectors could benefit enormously from secure P2P mobile communications, but developing applications tailored to specific needs is expensive, time-consuming and not necessarily reliable. Security, in particular, is a difficult issue to resolve.

But now researchers at the EU-funded PEPERS project are putting the final touches to a mobile P2P development platform for secure applications. The platform could mean a rapid rise in the number of secure, industry specific P2P mobile applications, helping to increase the competitiveness of European business.

P2P applications allow decentralised companies to more effectively manage a dispersed and highly mobile workforce. Journalists will be able to work more collaboratively on breaking news, and security guards will coordinate responses to situations, increasing security and personal safety.

P2P applications are a powerful innovation enabled by the internet. Essentially, P2P allows individuals to connect and work together, rather than having to go through a central communications unit first.

P2P can allow thousands of people to collaborate around a specific long-term or ad hoc goal. The technology gave rise to Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia written by thousands of volunteers. It enabled the creation of Digg, Stumble-Upon and del.ico.us, all phenomenally successful bookmarking services.

From virtual to real

But these are all desktop examples. By creating a platform to develop secure mobile P2P applications easily, the PEPERS team helped to move P2P from the virtual to the real.

“The goal of the project was to enable the development of secure mobile P2P applications,” says Vasilios Tountopoulos, coordinator of the PEPERS project. “So we created a platform to help develop, and run, secure applications on mobile devices. It means people can set up an ad hoc group to tackle an emerging task.”

The platform can be used to create secure, mobile, seamless P2P applications for specific domains.

Peer-to-peer for physical security

Security guards, for example, transfer large sums of cash or patrol a client’s premises. They need to keep in touch and organise themselves on-the-fly to complete their day-to-day tasks. Currently coordination is handled by a central dispatch, but that solution is beset with problems.

Firstly, it takes time to query dispatch, and more time for them to send another guard who might be only a couple of dozen metres away. And if dispatch is fielding queries from dozens of personnel, scattered around a city, the process takes longer, and the risk of error increases.

With an application developed through the PEPERS platform, guards can communicate directly, quickly and securely.

Breaking news

The PEPERS platform has also been used to develop an application that allows reporters and photographers to collaborate on a breaking news story. An editor first assigns a story to a team of reporters and photographers. Through P2P they can co-operate and share information on the ground, compile a report and send it with photographs to the editor once complete.

Such an application makes collaborative reporting easier and faster and helps the newspaper to break news before its competitors.

These are only examples of what the platform can do. As a first step, the PEPERS team only set out to prove that a platform supporting the development of secure mobile P2P applications was feasible.

Challenging tasks

“There were many challenges,” says Tountopoulos. “Making a secure system on a lightweight platform like a mobile device was a challenge. We had to optimise the software for mobile devices.”

The project chose to develop the platform on mobile devices based on the well-established, open-source Symbian operating system for mobile use.

“And developing software that responded to all the security constraints was tough, too,” adds Tountopoulos. “We had the rules in place, but then you need to adapt those rules to a specific situation.”

The team solved the problem by isolating the P2P application from the rest of the host operating system, which increased its security. Finally, responding to all of the business constraints was a tough problem to crack.

“But from our experience we were able to develop a platform that can be easily adapted to specific applications,” Tountopoulos says.

The platform can be developed further by those who need to adapt it for their specific needs.

“We designed a complete system, but we only developed the core platform because there were many elements in the design that were peripheral,” says Tountopoulos. “Still, the overall design is there if people want to add further components.” The upshot is that secure and customised mobile P2P applications can be easily developed for specific business goals.

PEPERS was funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for reserch.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89883

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht 5G-ready: Interoperability of the Fraunhofer FOKUS software-based core network successfully tested
15.02.2019 | FOKUS - Fraunhofer-Institut für Offene Kommunikationssysteme

nachricht New RMU project in the field of artificial intelligence and deep learning
13.02.2019 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

Im Focus: Famous “sandpile model” shown to move like a traveling sand dune

Researchers at IST Austria find new property of important physical model. Results published in PNAS

The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...

Im Focus: Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.

DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gravitational waves will settle cosmic conundrum

15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Spintronics by 'straintronics'

15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells

15.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>